BlackLine Strengths, Domain Expertise, and Key Differentiators
Companies come to BlackLine, Inc. because their traditional manual accounting processes are not sustainable. BlackLine’s cloud-based solutions and customer service help companies move to modern accounting by unifying their data and processes, automating repetitive work, and driving accountability through visibility. BlackLine provides solutions for financial close management, accounting automation, and intercompany governance, helping large enterprises and midsize companies across all industries do accounting work better, faster, and with more control.
The ease of integration allows users to send data from their ERP system to BlackLine as well as from BlackLine to their ERP to support and realize the accounting efficiencies gained from using BlackLine’s financial automation platform. Partial List of BlackLine Integrations: Baan (now Infor’s LN), Banktel, Cobalt, CostPoint (Deltek), Deacomm, Epicor, Filosoft, Flexi, GEAC, Great Plains (Microsoft GP), Homegrown, Hyperion Essbase, Hyperion HFM, Infineon, Infinium (Infor), Intacct (Sage), Jack Henry, JD Edwards, Lawson Fixed Assets, Lawson General Ledger (Infor), Lawson Project Accounting (Infor), MAS500 (Sage), McKesson, Metavante, Microsoft Solomon, NetSuite, Oracle A/P, Oracle A/R, Oracle Cash, Oracle Fixed Assets, Oracle General Ledger, Oracle Project Accounting, Outlook Soft, Pathways, PeopleSoft Fixed Assets (Oracle), PeopleSoft General Ledger (Oracle), PeopleSoft HR (Oracle), QAD General Ledger, QuickBooks, SAP BW, SAP BPC, SAP Fixed Assets, SAP General Ledger, SAP Open Items, Scala (Epicor), Workday, and Yardi.(Parenthetical notations are current owners of these products.)
BlackLine Recent Developments
In November 2021, BlackLine achieved ISO/IEC 27018:2019 and ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certifications, demonstrating the company’s enthusiastic and voluntary embrace of the most advanced internationally recognized standards for cloud security and data privacy. BlackLine’s newest certifications confirm the company adheres to the latest industry standards across its internal cloud services and also maintains and enforces robust and effective policies and procedures to ensure the security and privacy of the data managed by both its financial close and accounts receivable (AR) automation platforms.
In October 2021, BlackLine expanded its accounts receivable (AR) automation offering, unveiling the next generation of its full-functionality AR automation suite, a unified platform for end-to-end cash flow optimization, including cash application and collection, credit and risk management and dispute resolution. BlackLine’s AI-powered unified AR automation platform uses intelligent automation to help customers collect receivables faster, unleash working capital and accelerate their journeys to modern accounting and financial operations excellence. BlackLine’s unified applications for end-to-end AR automation are all built on the same multi-tenant platform.
In May 2021, BlackLine was pronounced officially compliant with the ISO/IEC 27017:2015 certification, after achieving the internationally recognized standard for cloud security. The certification provides assurance to customers and partners that BlackLine follows information security standards in cloud services, supported by policies that enforce data security and privacy.
In April 2020, BlackLine launched its ‘Modern Accounting Playbook’ (MAP), a solution package based on leading practices to help midmarket companies get up and running quickly on BlackLine’s market-leading accounting automation platform and guide them through a proven process to achieve a stress-free financial close.
In November 2018, BlackLine has signed a reseller agreement with SAP. This is a major move for BlackLine, giving it entry to the international market on a large scale.
Under the terms of the new agreement, SAP will have the ability to resell BlackLine’s cloud-based finance and accounting solutions to businesses around the world.
BlackLine Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Activities
In October 2020, BlackLine acquired the UK-based AI-powered cloud platform Rimilia for $150 million. Rimilia works to provide accounts receivable automation, helping companies control cash flow and collection in real-time. It simplifies the order-to-cash process via machine learning and artificial intelligence. The goal of the acquisition was to aid BlackLine's expanding capabilities into AR automation, a new area for the company. Moreover, the addition of Rimilia will advance BlackLine's goals toward modernizing accounting.
In 2018, Blackline reached an agreement with SAP for the latter ""to resell BlackLine's cloud-based finance and accounting solutions"" as part of the ""SAP Solution Extensions"". The intensifying cooperation between Blackline and SAP makes us wonder if Blackline might be at risk (or opportunity?) to be acquired by SAP. Furthermore, BlackLine’s growth has made it a very attractive acquisition target for a company like SAP.
In September 2016, BlackLine acquired its European competitor, Runbook for $34 million.
In September 2016, the company filed for an initial public offering with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. BlackLine began trading on the Nasdaq market under the BL ticker symbol, in 2016.
BlackLine Customers in ARTW Customer Database
Leveraging a rigorous data-centric research methodology, APPS RUN THE WORLD asks the simple question: Who’s buying BlackLine applications and why? And we provide the answers – supported by decades of research – to our clients around the world. Our Customer database has over 100 data fields that detail company usage of BlackLine and other enterprise apps by function, customer size, industry, location, implementation status, partner involvement, Line of Business Key Stakeholders and IT decision makers contact details. List of Verified BlackLine Finance Controls & Automation Platform, customers.
Ownership: - Nasdaq : BL
Number of Employees: 1474
Key Verticals: Aerospace and Defense, Banking and Financial Services, Communications, Construction and Real Estate, Consumer Packaged Goods, Distribution, Education, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Leisure and Hospitality, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Professional Services, Retail, Utilites,
BlackLine Key Enterprise and Cloud Applications
BlackLine Finance Controls & Automation Platform,
BlackLine Revenues, $M:
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* Enterprise Applications Revenues = License + Support & Maintenance + SaaS
** All revenue figures are estimates based on public records, Cloud and Non-Cloud business models in Apps Run The World's vendor database, and annual survey results including vendor feedback.
BlackLine Revenue Breakdown By Type, $M:
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BlackLine Enterprise Applications Revenues By Functional Markets, $M:
BlackLine Enterprise Applications Revenues By Verticals, $M:
BlackLine Revenues By Region, $M
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BlackLine Direct vs Indirect sales
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BlackLine Customers - Breakdown by Geo, Size, Vertical and Product
No. of BlackLine Customers: 3600
No. of BlackLine Enterprise Applications Customers: 3600
No. of BlackLine Cloud Customers: 3600
No. of BlackLine Cloud Subscribers: 315000
Blackline has over 3,600 customers with over 300,000 users in 130+ countries. While perhaps better known for its partnership with SAP (the product is on SAP’s price list), in September 2021 BlackLine surpassed 1,000 customers running on Oracle ERPs. In conclusion, BlackLine is ERP-agnostic, optimized for today’s hybrid, changing, and growing enterprise with direct integration to more than 30 different leading ERP and source systems. In addition, 15 of the Fortune 25 currently use BlackLine to automate financial close, accounts receivable and intercompany accounting processes, with many operating in a multi-ERP environment that includes Oracle ERPs. Among the its customers are some well-known brands: Hershey, Hyatt, NasDaq, CNH Industries, Zendesk, GoodRx, Coca Cola, Sirius XM, Western Union, British Gas.
BlackLine continued to expand its global customer base during 2020 adding a broad range of large and midsize companies to its client roster from North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and the Asia-Pacific region (ASIAPAC). Among the new customers in North America were Barrette Outdoor Living, Cabot Microelectronics, California Institute of Technology, Del Taco, Golden State Foods, Infoblox, and Vistra Energy Corp. In EMEA new customers included Cash Logistik Security, DPG Media, HHS Hire Group, Sibanye Stillwater, and Vanderlande Industries, and in ASIAPAC, Emerald Grain, Sojitz Asia, and Veolia China were among those that signed on to use BlackLine.
BlackLine Market Opportunities, M&A and Geo Expansions
Blackline enjoys a 98% renewal rate but to date have not had a lot more to sell. Its net renewal rate (NRR) has been just 106% . However, with the launch of its new AR automation suite, it has also launched a “Land-and-Expand” strategy. This entails landing a client for a service, demonstrating the efficiency and the value of business automation before account managers attempt to cross-sell additional services. This strategy's success thus far is shown by the higher number of clients and the average amount spent per client in the past years. The number of clients paying more than $250k rose 300%, from 72 to 295 customers entering 2021.
In 2020, amidst continued macroeconomic uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic and auditors restricted from traveling, many Finance & Accounting (F&A) teams face the prospect of preparing for audits from home for the first time. As a trusted advisor to F&A professionals around the world, BlackLine unveiled a remote audit solution and services package that can be quickly deployed to help customers prepare for remote audits, ensuring accuracy and integrity in the numbers, as well as security around internal financial controls.
BlackLine continues to build on its early successes by working closely with ERP applications vendors such as SAP and Oracle.
BlackLine Risks and Challenges
As noted earlier, Blackline enjoys a 98% renewal rate but historically didn’t have a lot more to sell as evidenced by its 106% NRR. NRR (Net Renewal Rate) is the rate at which customers are renewing and expanding. It differs from Gross Renewal Rate, which only shows the rate at which customers are renewing and does not take expansion into account. Blackline sees its new AR automation platform and its “Land and Expand” strategy as a means to counter this low NRR and CFO Mark Partin is said to be eyeing product adjacencies enhancing the accounting automation company’s platform solutions.
The pursuit of a “Land and Expand” sales model strategy can backfire, as it means capturing additional revenue from existing customers and increasing the lifetime value of the customer relationships, in exchange for obtaining new customers.
BlackLine Ecosystem, Partners, Resellers and SI
Blackline’s solutions have always been just one piece of a larger financial solution. As a result it has always relied on partners to assist and supplement its direct sales force. Most notably, in 2018 it signed a deal with SAP whereby its products are included on SAP’s price list and actually sold by SAP.
In addition to Blackline partners with other firms such as Oracle, Deloitte, and KPMG, who provide the company with new client leads as part of their digital transformation services. BlackLine announced in July that its market-leading cloud solutions for financial close complement the RISE with SAP offering, building on the company’s success providing accounting automation solutions to hundreds of businesses using SAP® technology, including SAP S/4HANA® Cloud. BlackLine remains focused on strengthening its integration and relationship with SAP. SAP recently awarded BlackLine the 2021 SAP Pinnacle Award for Partner of the Year in the Solution Extensions category, recognizing BlackLine for its world-class solution extensions. The BlackLine solutions, offered as SAP Solution Extensions, align with the value proposition of RISE with SAP to help customers accelerate their digital transformations to become intelligent enterprises.
BlackLine has also continued to expand its partner ecosystem to accelerate growth and increase customer value. It recently expanded its global partner program to help address, what it believes to be, the combined $28 billion opportunity in the financial close and accounts receivable automation markets. To grow the partner program across geographies and market segments, it is investing in a new Field Alliances team and providing partners with a comprehensive set of resources to help scale and accelerate their go-to-market capabilities.
In July 2021 Blackline announced a partnership with Kyriba. San Diego-based Kyriba offers a secure, scalable SaaS platform that leverages AI capabilities and automates payments workflows. It enables thousands of multinational corporations and banks to maximize growth opportunities, protect against loss from fraud and financial risk, and reduce operational costs. The partnership will provide capabilities for customers of both organizations to have access to integrated solutions that will accelerate access to banks, reduce manual activity for accounts receivables to increase cash visibility, and enable greater automation in the financial close processes.
From North America and EMEA to APAC and South America, among its partners are: 4Impact Technology Services, Alpern, Rosenthal&Co.(U.S.), Axia Resources, Clearview Solutions LLC (U.S.), Deloitte&Touche LLP (Australia), Deloitte&Touche LLP (Canada), Deloitte&Touche LLP (U.S.), Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (U.S.), EXL Service, Experis (U.S.), Grant Thornton LLP (U.S.), Herndonwood Associates (U.S.), Horn Solutions, Inc. (U.S.), International Financial Group (U.S.), KPMG LLP (U.S.) KPMG LLP (Netherlands), Miller Sereduck CPA (U.S.), Morgan Garris, LLC (U.S.), Nexvel Consulting, LLC, O’Keefe&Associates (U.S.), PricewaterhouseCoopers (Europe), Protiviti (Global), Rayburn, Bates&Fitzgerald, PC (U.S.), Resources Global Professionals (U.S.), Robert Half International, Sandpoint Consulting (U.S.), The Goetzman Group Inc. (U.S.), UHY Advisors (U.S.), Virtusa Corporation and others.
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Data used in research reports are derived from publicly available documents, continuous surveys of applications vendors, customers, resellers, Independent Software Vendors, systems integrators and other verifiable sources.
Vendor shares and market forecast results are based on a combination of existing databases as well as demand side and supply side research conducted throughout the year with validation from vendors, customers, channel partners and documentations such as earnings releases and 10Q and 10K filings, vertical industry studies, regional and country-level statistics from public and private institutions(i.e. colleges, universities, government agencies and trade associations).
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